Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Gas or Electric Heat?


juan2doit's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1

11-19-09, 04:27 PM   #1  
Gas or Electric Heat?

I don't like to use the heat too much. But I am building three new apartments and I am trying to decide between gas and electric. Gas used to be the clear winner for cost and efficiency. How about today and the future? Please advise...

 
Sponsored Links
airman.1994's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,581
VA

11-19-09, 07:31 PM   #2  
LP is very high right now. NG is very cheap. Electric is about middle of the road. They will all have peaks and valleys.

 
hehong's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3

12-09-09, 12:59 AM   #3  
I like the gas, and I think it is will very common in the future

 
spdavid's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,959
VA

12-09-09, 06:37 AM   #4  
Electric is the lowest maintenance which might be helpful with apartments.

 
Bud9051's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,771
ME

12-09-09, 07:40 AM   #5  
If they are paying for the heat, electric is easier to associate with each unit and less expensive to install over three gas units. Assuming NG, if you are using one big boiler, a gas unit would probably be the best choice. Check your rates and fuel costs.

Bud

 
Allisa's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7

12-20-09, 08:59 PM   #6  
Gas is my first choice, NG is much cheaper than any others. Its clean and we can use it in long duration.

 
EnosJS's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7

12-23-09, 04:53 AM   #7  
GHP is the best. However it does cost more upfront. But long term it easily pays itself off.

Plus with GHP you can easily include the cost of heating/cooling in the rent. The remains fairly steady and much cheaper than NG or electric

As someone who rented for 20 years befor we bought our house I can tell you that I much preferred to have heat/air included in the rent it made budgeting that much easier and you did not have to worry about massive seasonal shifts in your payments

 
ecman51's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,629
WI

01-11-10, 04:27 PM   #8  
At current rates and even rates from the past in my parts, it is/has been commonly held that gas is 2 to 2 1/2 times cheaper than electric for the same amount of btus.

IMO, if you have apts. and want to cheapen out by installing electric baseboard heating, tenants are more likely to move out after they spend a cold winter paying unnecessarily high heat bills. Not unless the electric heat is in a highly insulated dwelling.

 
Road King's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24
NJ

01-20-10, 11:28 AM   #9  
I think gas is the way to go, electric heat is too expensive to operate, as far as in the futere who knows, but if I was looking to rent and had to choose between too similiar apartments I would choose the gas heated unit hands down.

 
Desert Eagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 72

01-21-10, 05:17 PM   #10  
In your area I don't know, do a cost analysis.
Currently in my area gas and electric cost about the same per BTU.
So I would go with electric. Initial costs of DHW heaters and furnaces are cheaper and have less maintenance requirements.
With electric you can build the apts. real tight and not worry about venting your combustion appliances.

Did you consider a geothermal system?

 
landonroberts's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2

02-14-10, 10:48 PM   #11  
I go for gas, electric made my bills soar a life time

 
Sherrylyn's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7

02-23-10, 03:30 AM   #12  
which is the more environment-friendly?

 
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,774
PA

02-23-10, 06:56 AM   #13  
which is the more environment-friendly?
I'm sure you already know the answer.


Adopt a shelter pet!
Spay or neuter your pet!
Please don't leave pets or kids in a hot car!
Bring your pets inside in this cold weather! Have some compassion and sense.

 
airman.1994's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,581
VA

02-23-10, 07:28 PM   #14  
I don't know but I would say gas is more friendly!

 
esalman's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 196
MA

02-23-10, 07:58 PM   #15  
As a landlored: Electricity is cheapest to maitain and install but good luck finding tenants to rent to.

As a person who cares about the environment: Electricity is the most effecient way to heat almost 100% effecient but are you getting it from a coal plant or a wind mill? Gas is very effecient (mid to high ninties) very low maintainance, burns clean and cheaper than electricity. According to the department of energy there is enough NG reserves for the next 1000 years. NG is also renewable, lots places are using gas digesters to collect gas from trash dumps to dairy farms.


Last edited by esalman; 02-23-10 at 08:49 PM.
 
ecman51's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,629
WI

02-24-10, 06:09 PM   #16  
Posted By: Desert Eagle In your area I don't know, do a cost analysis.
Currently in my area gas and electric cost about the same per BTU.
I too am from the midwest. How much YOU paying for electric and NG right now?


With electric you can build the apts. real tight and not worry about venting your combustion appliances.
But you might get sick rebreathing foul stale air.

Venting an NG furnace these days is not so hard or expensive. And if you get a closed combustion furnace, you can pipe fresh air directly into the combustion chamber without drawing cold air through cracks in the house.

 
Desert Eagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 72

03-10-10, 09:14 PM   #17  
"which is the more environment-friendly?" NG

"I too am from the midwest. How much YOU paying for electric and NG right now?"
I am all electric, don't know the current kWh rate. NG is not available in my area.
But when it comes up with family and friends that have electric and NG with smaller homes and less people, there combined bill is more then mine.

When is the last time any of you shook the hand of your reps or senators and let them know you are not happy with our current system of energy supply?

Almost everyone is tied into the electric grid.

"And if you get a closed combustion furnace, you can pipe fresh air directly into the combustion chamber"
It takes electric to run that.

Get rid of the NG,(no CO) tighten up the structure, use radiant,solar and geothermal and you will be well on your way to eliminating utility bills and contributing to a socialistic society.

 
ecman51's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,629
WI

03-11-10, 05:16 PM   #18  
Electric is close to 9.5 Kwh for people on the regular plan. NG is about 80/therm(varies).........but in that ball park.

I opted for "time-of-use" billing plan, and pay only 5.0/Kwh off-peak(8pm - 8am) and about 18 Kwh on peak(8 am - 8pm). Off-peak Fri. 8pm - Mon. 8am!!!) My off-peak to on-peak ratio is a whopping almost 9:1 right now.

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,940
NJ

03-12-10, 02:23 PM   #19  
Are you guys including the delivery charge when you quote how much you are paying? Including delivery charges, I pay $1.50 per therm for NG and about $.20 per kwh for electricity.

 
Desert Eagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 72

03-12-10, 10:39 PM   #20  
Like I said NG is not available to me.
If you are paying 1.50 per therm with delivery I am thinking you have propane.

Maybe I'm doing the math wrong Beer 4U2 but My kWh rate is .05 cents.
Here are my numbers from the electric company, in 2009 I used 29,671 kWh at a cost of $1,742.79 .

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,940
NJ

03-13-10, 07:20 AM   #21  
I do not have propane. I have natural gas.

That must not include delivery charges. This link shows the rates across the country and the NJ rate is definitely not including the delivery charge.

http://www.kaec.org/stand/rates.htm

 
Desert Eagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 72

03-13-10, 07:07 PM   #22  
Sorry DP, I have never had NG where I had to pay for it, so when you mentioned delivery charges that made me think of LP which I have had.

So I spoke with a family member who has NG and got this info.
Monthly $15 charge for service, $1.34 per therm for first 30 therms and .695 cents for each additional therm.

Is the $15 service charge what you are calling a delivery charge?

Back to my first reply on this thread, make the home as tight as possible, if make up air is needed for the CAZ make it happen, in the long run its less costly then letting all that energy out.

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,940
NJ

03-13-10, 09:24 PM   #23  
Both my electric and NG have a separate delivery charge. It's like this because I can choose another company to supply electricity or NG. I can't choose a different company for delivery for obvious reasons. Only one network of pipes and wires. :P

 
Desert Eagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 72

03-15-10, 09:02 PM   #24  
So you are basically buying through a sub?

Who owns the lines and pipes ? Would it not be less expensive to deal direct with the owner of the supply system?

I would seriously question the supplier/owner of the supply system as to why some other company can offer me lower rates then the company that owns the distribution system.

Just a thought.

I am real familiar with the sheepale mentality of the NE.

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,940
NJ

03-16-10, 05:18 PM   #25  
New Jersey Natural Gas owns the supply lines in my area. I also buy my gas from them as well. I haven't gotten into trying to find the cheapest gas possible. It can be a gamble.

How can someone else supply gas less than the gas company? Excellent question. It's all about futures contracts. I'm certainly not exactly sure how NJNG buys their supply, but they do buy in advance to some degree. So in a scenario like the last year or so when the price of gas fell dramatically, NJNG who has already paid a high price for contracts that will deliver in the future won't be able to lower their prices right away. So I could go to another company who doesn't hold high priced futures contracts and get a rate that is in line with the current wholesale price.

Depending on what the 3rd party companies offer, you can get 1 year contracts to lock in a rate (like fuel oil) or get one that has a floating rate.

I personally like the simplicity of having the gas company supply my gas.

The same is true for electricity as well.

 
ecman51's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,629
WI

03-18-10, 01:55 PM   #26  
Because gas and electric bills will have consistant monthly charges like a meter charge(which will be charged even if you use no units), delivery charge and various taxes - for comparison of the two types, one should really only mind what the unit charges are (Kwh's or therms). But if you like, you can do it both ways: Complete bill or only unit charges.

No matter how you do it - for my area, if you are on standard rate electric, NG is a lot cheaper.

 
kimmieA's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3

04-07-10, 01:03 PM   #27  
We have electric heat. Recently, we installed a programmable thermostat. We're trying to cut down on the energy our house uses when we're not at home. Lately, because of the nicer weather, I've been able to open the house up and enjoy some fresh air. But come the hot, humid midwest summer, we'll certainly be setting the thermostat to turn that ac up only when we're at home in the evening.

 
Search this Thread